Hailsham: Bonfire society plans for annual blaze

Hailsham Bonfire Society
Hailsham Bonfire Society

BONFIRE celebrations will be held in Hailsham on October 15.

The town will be turned into a blazing spectacle with the staging of the annual Guy Fawkes celebrations.

Hailsham Bonfire Society is organising the event and more than 12 visiting bonfire societies from all over Sussex will join the parade through the town in their extravagant and exotic costumes.

Hailsham will don Victorian costumes and the visiting bonfire societies include Littlehampton with their grand Tudor costumes, the Pearly Kings and Queens from Crowborough and the eye-catching baroque costumes of the Phoenix Walking Group.

Burgess Hill, Fletching, Isfield and Little Horsted, Maresfield, Mayfield, South Heighton, Uckfield and the newly-reformed Seaford Bonfire Society will also attend.

Music for the evening will be provided by the Heathfield Silver Band playing some traditional favourites including Sussex by the Sea and the Sussex Stompers with their repertoire of jazz.

The first torchlit procession will start in Western Road at 7.30pm and makes its way through the town to the War Memorial for an act of remembrance before returning to Western Road for the award of the best dressed bonfire society trophy.

At 9pm the grand procession will form up and 1,000 flaming torches will light the night sky as the massed societies make their way back through the town to the leisure centre car park where the bonfire will be lit with torches from the procession and the traditional bonfire cry will be performed. Hailsham Bonfire Society is promising a ‘breathtaking’ fireworks display at 9.30pm.

This year Hailsham Bonfire Society is hoping to better last year’s street collection by raising more than £1,000 for local charities.

This year’s chosen charities are St John Ambulance which will be providing medical cover for the event, Samuel’s Children’s Charity, a Lewes based charity which provides support and assistance to those affected by childhood cancer, and Sussex Search and Rescue, a volunteer group supporting the emergency services in the searching for vulnerable missing people.

The group welcomes volunteers to help us in the street collection, so if you are able and willing to help please come to the Hailsham Memorial Institute any time from 6pm on the evening of the event. A Hailsham Bonfire Society programme, with full itinery, is now available from various outlets around Hailsham. Society members will also be selling programmes in the town centre on the morning of the event.